Skip to main content

View Post [edit]

Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Sep 6, 2018 11:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: WINTER 1979 Part I

Going into this I had not listened to these shows for a very long time . My memory that it was a sad coda to the Keith & Donna era . Well, I was wrong, there is some very good music here, but also some really so so, to just bad music, sometimes on the same night . The best stuff here I think is better than the lion’s share of 78 . Most of these shows are pretty good for a band that must be exhausted, California kids, touring in the cold . Garcia’s voice is not doing well at all , same as last winter . They must have really needed the money . Their once great addition to the band, Keith, is now sunk into addiction (also depression ?) . His once wonderful contributions reduced to a banging away on that horrible electric piano . If you don’t like his wife, she is up front here , sometimes fine , sometimes bleating almost comically . And they were fighting . Their days were numbered with the band .
But one of the main things that make so many of these shows a joy to dig though is Garcia’s playing . Baskets full of joyful, rocking, and sweet notes .

1/5/79 Philly Spectrum
AUD (only source on IA) starts bad but it gets better quick in the opening Sugaree . In this song,Garcia sounds, and plays great, more a flowing one, than a towering one . Hey, the Minglewood is good ! Dick thought so . Now this rocks . It’s All Over Now is the best performance of the set, and maybe the show, crusin’ with determination . Cool ride and Jerry’s power up is exciting . A great version of this Bobby Womack/Rolling Stones classic . The opening set 2 stuff is fine , but I really like the nocturnal sounding Estimated jam into Eyes . Eyes itself, has as one reviewer said “Jerry's loose and playful noodles throughout” . This is a fun, relaxed version, for a fast Eyes . The downside is how weak Garcia’s voice is .
The highlight of he post drums section is Nobody’s Fault but Mine till Jerry’s voice drops out, and takes the steam out of it . The Black Peter is good, but more vocal problems . The Around, and JBG are also good , but not great .
Not an outstanding show, but a decent one , and like much of this tour, filed with ups, and downs .
Highlights :Garcia’s playing . Sugaree, Minglewood, All Over Now, jams/solos inEstimate>Eyes, Nobody’s Fault .
Oh Well : Jerry voice is not having a good time . Bob’s slide playing .

1/7/79 MSG
First one at the Garden (?)
Ok AUD .
Show starts with a good Jack Straw ,that really kicks ass in the solo . Hello New York !
Nice Cassidy, and a, at this point, rare Jack -o-Roe . Rest of the set fine .
Second set starts with Miracle with real jam at the end . Remember boys and girls when Miracle was a cool song ? Followed by Shakedown that gives Phil a lot to do . Now I don’t hate From the Heat of Me, but It does not belong in the second set . At least it’s short . They repeat the Estimated>Eyes combo form the previous show (6 repeated songs in all) , with the Estimated powerful , and the Eyes more tight and hyper . I give the nod to Philly, both are good .
Drums, is followed by a more relaxed space/jam that goes into a slow moving NFA . Jerry and Keith even trade a few licks here . Black Peter again, like the Philly one, is mired by vocal problems, and the PA problems (for the rest of the show) . They again close with Around . The encore is a surprising Good Lovin . Works ok .
More consistent than the previous show,. Maybe a little less inspired in in the same selections .
Highlights : Jack Straw, Cassidy, Jack-o-Roe, Estimated, general cohesion
Oh well : Continuing Garcia vocal issues, PA problems at end of set .

1/8/79 MSG
Ok to good AUD, Garcia’s guitar sounds wonderful, and that is more than half the battle .
Dick liked this one, . I believe this a favorite of Mr. Charlie Miller . Well , I like it too
so I’m glad Dick , and Charlie agree with me …
Right off a grand Mississippi Half Step>Franklin’s to get things started . You know they are on when even the cowboy duos are good, as here . One of those uptempo versions Brown Eyed Woman , and a pretty hot Lazy Lighting> Supp. to close a fine set .
This is then followed by a exceptionally good (for the era) second set .
The Scarlet >Fire is a real good one, except, for “Donna, Girl of the Jungle” treating us to some vocal entertainment in the transition . Terrapin gets a little more attention in the middle section than usual, this goes into Playing that get into some interesting places before disappearing into drums. An 8 minute Other One , not bad for the era, leads into a Wharf Rat that has some vocal problems . However the ending jam really builds till you think ( as Dick herd it, and so do I) they are going to back into the Other One , but alas it is Good Lovin’, which is not a bad one though . even US Blues is extra peppy .
So, a good one .
Highlight : 1/2/Step>Frank, Supplication, the whole second set, but especially Scarlet>Fire , and the solo/jams in Wharf Rat .
Oh Well: No much really, just Jerry’s poor vocal cords, Donna trying to harmonize with him, and her Scarlet improv .

1/10/79 Nassau
AUD , good to my ear .
This show is famous for it’s Dark Star, and St.Stephen, The second night might be even overall , but …Dark Star ,and St.,Stephen !
First set starts with Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land (it’ was his birthday) . The set is good, but not remarkable . Does pick up more toward the end . Strong Loser, followed by a strong Music Never Stoped (3 min. of song, 5 min of solo ) .
The first 40 minuets of this set is boogie down Dead, then in a bipolar move , they change to cosmic Dead for 40 + minutes . The Shakedown opener has a really great jam, that one reviewer reminds them of the Cornell Dancing . Then the common for the time, Miracle>Bertha>Good Lovin combo, Which really does rock (nice jam out of Miracle , by the way) .
At 5 seconds before you can here the common request shouted from some one “Dark Star” .
Well he got his wish ! Our friend LIA has a roundtable about the 5 Dark Stars 78-84 . So if you want more insightful analysis than I could ever do, go there . Great read .
I like it mote than the 12/31/78 version, myself . Shy of 74 and before, this was going to be as good as it got . Drums goes into a jam that seems calm at first, but end up almost sounding like a “Tiger meltdown” , This goes into a Wharf Rat better than the previous show, though it doesn’t have the intense last jam, but IT goes into St. Stephen ! The second surprise of the evening . The last one with K& D, and the las one till 83 . Maybe it is the AUD tape, but it sound powerful to me . We end this great set with two more Chuck Berry HBD songs , Around, and JBG .
Highlight : Loser, Music, all of set 2 is a blast, but special mention to the Shakedown, and the Dark Star though St. Stephen .
Oh well: First set nowhere near the level of the second .

1/11/79 Nassau
AUD , a little bright SBD a little dull, not ideal . None of the sources are perfect .
A big ass Sugaree opens this show, a good omen . First set is all good . The Peggy- O , the Cassidy are especially nice .
“We used to play for acid, now we play for Clive” . Jack Straws solo has a million notes , and builds to a huge climax . Nice Deal to end it, but I get worn out with the repeated “Don’t you let the DEEAAALL go down.” Jerry and Donna making some racket .
Set two starts with an 11 and a half min. version of Miracle (!) It is a jam you could hear a lot of things come out of . It’s a shame It became a quick Bob post drums ditty . Ship of Fools cools us down , and Keith seems a little more engaged . Another good Estimated from this tour , goes into He’s Gone , also well done . Post drums/space , Truckin has a Garcia giving us a little more in the jam out at the end . Strangely it dies way down before segueing into The Other One (reverse of the old Truckin’ >Other One combo) . The Other One is a short less than 6 minutes, but a good less than 6 minuets . Marred only by his fried voice, Garcia puts out a very fine Sella Blue . Ok time to go, so here is Bob with Good Loving’ again . The encore is biggest hit for the Dead that I don’t get excited by . Nice one to mark it off as “yes got to hear it” .
Fine show end to end,
Highlights : big ass Sugaree, Peggy -O, Jack Straw , Miracle, .Truckin’ jam,, Stella Blue
Oh well : Yes the show is more consistent, but the pervious night’s set 2 was special .

Reply [edit]

Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Sep 6, 2018 2:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: WINTER 1979 Part I

Great reviews of a time frame not often called out. I'll have to check them out.

Oh, please feel free to edit your original post to get it back to the top (I made a couple of tweaks to mine and jumped over yours, which deserves to get full visibility). Good stuff. Thanks for taking the time.

Reply [edit]

Poster: jerlouvis Date: Sep 6, 2018 1:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: WINTER 1979 Part I

A very interesting time span to investigate and a job well done on reviewing the material DD.